Caister Academic Press

The Potential Role of Bacteriophages in Shaping Plant-Bacterial Interactions

B. Koskella and T. B. Taylor
from: Bacteria-Plant Interactions: Advanced Research and Future Trends (Edited by: Jesús Murillo, Boris A. Vinatzer, Robert W. Jackson and Dawn L. Arnold). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2015) Pages: 199-220.


Bacteriophages are ubiquitous and abundant across ecosystems. Given that they are also capable of lysing bacterial host cells, mediating horizontal gene transfer among bacterial genomes, and altering bacterial phenotype, phages are likely to have significant impact on the interaction between bacteria and their host plants. In this chapter we first review the current understanding of bacteria-phage ecology and evolution gained both from experiments performed under controlled, laboratory settings and from observations in natural settings. We then discuss the extent to which this understanding can help inform predictions about the effects of phages on plant-associated bacterial populations and communities, and highlight key studies setting out to test these predictions. Finally, we discuss the potential use of phages as biocontrol agents of plant pathogens and highlight the need for more data regarding the evolutionary implications of these treatments and the ecological impact of phages on bacterial community-level processes read more ...
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